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One of the high water marks of French cinema,
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This review is from: Cyrano De Bergerac [DVD] (DVD)Jean-Paul Rappeneau's wonderfully cinematic version of Cyrano De Bergerac is one of the genuine high water marks of modern French cinema. Rappeneau is a director who really understands movement, and his far from static approach revitalizes the piece and frees it from the tyranny of the wonderful words to give it wings, while Gerard Depardieu's magnificent Cyrano keeps the film's emotions beautifully grounded. For once the supporting characters aren't played as idiots: Christian is no fool, merely an inarticulate man increasingly aware that his is a false victory, and the Comte De Guiche is allowed more dignity than you'd expect from a part that's usually reduced to mere comedy villainy.
Almost everything about the film is perfect, from Rappeneau and Jean-Claude Carriere's superb screenplay to Jean-Claude Petit's restrained score, which subtly underlines the emotions rather than play up the pathos (a shame his action cues use a thinly-disguised version of Danny Elfman's Batman theme: someone obviously fell in love with the temp track). Wonderful stuff, even if Cyrano takes longer to shuffle off this mortal coil than Brando did in Mutiny on the Bounty.